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Designing a Better Chicago presents Riverwalk design team, grant program

Chicago—Designing a Better Chicago, a collaborative initiative organized and supported by NeoCon and theMART, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Design Museum of Chicago, has selected Chicago-based design firms Kwong Von Glinow and UB Studio for its large-scale Chicago Riverwalk installation. In addition, Designing a Better Chicago will also include the Design Impact Grant Program, which will recognize individuals or organizations using design for civic good. The annual initiative will be complemented by a series of special talks and events coinciding with NeoCon next June.

“Give me a minute, please!,” theinaugural Chicago Riverwalk installation by Kwong Von Glinow and UB Studio forDesigning a Better Chicago, will debut this June during NeoCon and be in place through October 2020.

“The question we asked ourselves when approaching the request for proposal was, ‘What more can we give to this site as architects?’” explained Alison Von Glinow, founding partner at Kwong Von Glinow. “We proposed a design that incorporates the idea of time and space in everyday life. As its name “Give me a minute, please!”suggests, our installation offers a space for contemplation: a respite—even if knowingly momentary—where visitors will pause, delight and enjoy their surroundings.”

The newly established Design Impact Grant Program will offer annual project-specific grants to individuals and organizations using design or design principles to directly address pressing issues in Chicago communities. Grant amounts will include up to $25,000 in funds, with two to four grants set aside to be given out per year based on the quality of applications and available funds.

“Chicago has long been the center of great design—from the incomparable World's Columbian Exposition in 1893 to NeoCon’s enduring influence each year since 1969, and with so many accomplishments in between,” said Tanner Woodford, founder and executive director of the Design Museum of Chicago. “Through this grant, we are thrilled to help bring Designing a Better Chicagoto life. As a platform, we hope to expose and bolster the type of design that continues to make Chicago a better place.”

Nominations for the 2020 program are being accepted now through Dec. 31, 2019 at Candidates will then be selected to submit applications Jan. 7 through Feb. 17, 2020, with awards announced in April 2020.

More information about Designing a Better Chicago, including details on programming and events, will be announced early 2020. A Designing a Better Chicago website will go live mid-January at